Saturday in Whitewater will see showers with a high of 73. Sunrise is 6:24 AM and sunset 7:22 PM, for 12h 58m 51s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 7.2% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1882, the Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.
Republicans already appeared divided over how far to go in confronting the University of Wisconsin System — specifically former Governor Tommy Thompson — over setting its COVID-19 policies.
On Thursday, the split widened.
First, UW System interim President Thompson and UW Regent President Edmund Manydeeds III sent a letter to the Republican leaders of the Legislature’s rules committee confirming they would not come to the committee for permission before implementing such steps as mandatory testing and mask rules on UW campuses.
Then state Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, issued a statement saying he supports the UW System’s ability to make its own decisions about how to control the spread of COVID-19 on campuses.
Finally, state Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, capped the day by saying he’ll formally ask State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, to take the state university system to court.
“I do not support a legal challenge by the State Legislature to UW-System’s COVID-19 mitigation measures,” Cowles said. “During this ongoing workforce shortage that’s bound to only maintain or intensify, tying the hands of one of our state’s most powerful workforce development tools and driving decisions that could cancel or limit in-person instruction doesn’t seem to be in the best interests of our local communities or business sector.”
None of this sits well with Nass, a relentless critic of the UW System and opponent of COVID protocols.
His chief of staff, Mike Mikalsen, said Thursday it was “unfortunate” that Cowles did not support suing.
“Last year, the Legislature went to court to end unlawful Covid-19 mandates issued by Governor Evers’ Department of Health Services,” Mikalsen said in an email. “Senator Nass opposes unlawful Covid-19 mandates issued by any state agency regardless of if they are led by a Democrat appointee or a former Republican governor.”
Later, Nass added he thought some of his colleagues had “gone soft” and would only oppose the mandates when they were “issued by the other party.”
No surprises here: Nass will fight until the last dog dies, but the WISGOP (hardly a ‘soft’ bunch) has both the disruption of litigation and a possible —if not probable —legal loss to consider. See Steve Nass: Troll-King in Autumn, Nass, Again, and Thompson Dares Nass in Front of 5.8 Million People.